Joseph Schell Photography

Dec 28

The Mothball Fleet-Suisun Bay

As we rounded ship after ship in a small kayak i began to understand what Jonah must have felt in the belly of a whale. A day of exploring the largest mothballed naval reserve fleet in Sacramento River’s Suisun Bay was filled with trekking over marsh, braving high winds in a small kayak and a Homeland Security Patrol Boat. Since the late 1940’s ships have been decommissioned and stored in the bay, there now sits about 80 retired Naval ships slowly disintegrating into the Sacramento River estuary.

Almost on keel the giant bodies of steel sat in nice tight rows with exposed hulls, props and manholes littering the murky water of Suisun Bay.  The rush of being in the open water and wandering among the giants shielded us from the December cold and from the real danger that lay just beyond. After a half-hour of weaving in and out of the ships we were discovered by the Homeland Security patrol boat who quickly told us just what laws we were violating over a loud speaker and escorted us out and around the ships.

Here’s an aerial pic to give a better idea of the enormity of these boats.

Suisun Bay and Mothball Fleet Aerial Photo

Suisun Bay and Mothball Fleet Aerial Photo

Here are the pics from the day:


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